Saturday, August 28, 2010

Last Call

Looks like our friends the Invisible Teabaggers are back. Gateway Dipstick:

Glenn Beck announced, “I heard two estimates from the media. One was 300,000 and the other was 500,000. So, who knows just how many are actually here today.”

Wow, half a million is certainly an impressive number...if by "half a million" you mean less than a hundred thousand.
An estimated 87,000 people attended a rally organized by talk-radio host and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News.
The company based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which stretched from in front of the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument. Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at the rally.
Beck, who predicted that at least 100,000 people would show up, opened his comments with a joke: "I have just gotten word from the media that there is over 1,000 people here today." gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally's high point.
Yes I know, it's another massive left-wing conspiracy to hide the other 400,000-plus people just like last year, when they said 70,000 people was actually two million.

By that winger math anywhere from 2.28 million to 2.74 million wingers were really out there, it's just all the aerial photos are owned by George Soros, right?

At least they've kept their lies within an order of magnitude this time.

Follow The Money Trail

If you want to know why the Dems are in real trouble, you must glean the scene of Wall Street green.
At a black-tie dinner in April, a politically influential hedge fund manager named Paul Singer offered a blistering critique of the “terrible path” he said Washington politicians were charting on economic issues.
Mr. Singer, professorial and soft-spoken, used a gathering of business and government leaders at the conservative Manhattan Institute to lash out at “indiscriminate attacks by political leaders against anything that moves in the world of finance.” Government efforts to “take over and run” the economy through more regulations, he warned, threatened to ruin the United States’ standing as the world leader in finance.
As the head of a $17 billion hedge fund, Mr. Singer, a self-described Barry Goldwater conservative who is 66, is using his financial might to try to change those policies. He has become one of the biggest bankrollers of Republican causes, giving more than $4 million of his money and raising millions more through fund-raisers he hosts for like-minded candidates who often share his distaste for what they view as governmental over-meddling in the financial industry.
The same day in June that the House gave final approval to the sweeping overhaul of financial regulations, Mr. Singer had a fund-raiser at his Central Park West apartment, netting more than $1 million for seven Republican Senate candidates who had opposed the bill. His hedge fund, Elliott Management, is the biggest source of money to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
With economic problems weighing heavily as the November elections approach, the divide between Republicans and Democrats in their attitudes toward Wall Street and the economy promises to be a recurring point of attack for both parties, and Mr. Singer is using his money to push conservative causes. 
And thank to the Supreme Court, those donations are now unlimited.  Welcome to the gilded age of the Golden Rule:  he who has the gold, makes the rules.

We're about to end up with the best Congress money can buy.

Taibbi On The Summer Of Insanity

Do read the whole thing.
There’s nothing in the world more tired than a progressive blogger like me flipping out over the latest idiocies emanating from the Fox News crowd. But this summer’s media hate-fest is different than anything we’ve seen before. What we’re watching is a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites. They’re telling these people that their government is illegitimate and criminal and unironically urging secession and revolution.
The Fox/Rush/Savage crowd in the last 18 months has taken the anti-Muslim fervor that launched a phony war in Iraq, carried George Bush to re-election, and pushed through the Patriot Act, and re-directed that anger at a domestic nonwhite enemy. In doing so they’ve achieved a perfect storm of political cross-purposes: they’ve almost completely succeeded in distracting the public from the real causes of their economic misfortune (i.e. Wall Street corruption), they’ve re-energized a Republican party that was devastated by eight years of Bush-era corruption and incompetence, and, as usual, they’ve made Rupert Murdoch a shitload of money. 
And in the end that's all that matters. It's a brilliant plan, and it's working perfectly, to the point where the Republican party is poised to take back the House and very possibly even the Senate as well, and then unleash a never-ending Clinton-era storm of endless investigations and infinite-ring circuses to destroy what's left of liberalism in this country.

Taibbi certainly understands what's coming.  I don't think enough in the Obama administration do.

Keep The Home Fires Burning

President Obama dedicated his weekly address today to the fact he's brought 90,000 troops home from Iraq since he took office.  That's true...

Three days before the official end of the US combat mission in Iraq, US President Barack Obama said on Saturday that the war in the country was "ending" and called Iraq a "sovereign" nation free to determine its own destiny.
"On Tuesday, after more than seven years, the United States of America will end its combat mission in Iraq and take an important step forward in responsibly ending the Iraq war," Obama said in his weekly radio address.
The president, who spends Saturday his last full vacation day at on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, will cover the issue of Iraq in a nationally-televised address from the Oval Office on Tuesday.
"As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war," Obama recalled in the address. "As president, that is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office."
US troop numbers in Iraq fell below 50,000 last Tuesday in line with Obama's instructions as part of a "responsible drawdown" of troops, seven years on from the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.
...but how many of those 90,000 troops are now in Afghanistan as part of the "surge" there to fight that particular losing war?  Obama really, really should avoid making "Mission Accomplished!" type statements like this until he's brought all of our troops home from the Middle East...

...which of course will never happen.

Thoughts On Beckapalooza

As Glenn Beck helpfully reminds everyone today that the civil rights movement was really all about white people and what they contributed to help black folk ride buses (the same buses that 47 years later we should shut down for being tax-consuming parasites apparently) and drink from water fountains in parks (which 47 years later should also be shut down for being tax-consuming parasites) I can't help but think that maybe there's something that Glennsanity is overlooking just a bit.

Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald puts it brilliantly.
We're in an odd moment. Having opposed the freedom movement of the 20th century, some social conservatives seek, now that that movement stands vindicated and venerated, to arrogate unto themselves its language and heroes, to remake it in their image.
Thus, you get claims that "racism" is now what Shirley Sherrod said in a speech to the NAACP. And people calling Sarah Palin the new face of feminism. And conservatives touting the likelihood that King voted Republican — as if the party in 1957 bore any resemblance to the party now.
But even by those standards, Glenn Beck's effrontery is monumental. Even by those standards, he goes too far. Beck was part of the "we" who founded the civil rights movement!? "No." Here's who "we" is.
"We" is Emmett Till, tied to a cotton gin fan in the murky waters of the Tallahatchie River. "We" is Rosa Parks telling the bus driver no. "We" is Diane Nash on a sleepless night waiting for missing Freedom Riders to check in. "We" is Charles Sherrod, husband of Shirley, gingerly testing desegregation compliance in an Albany, Ga., bus station. "We" is a sharecropper making his X on a form held by a white college student from the North. "We" is celebrities like Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando and Pernell Roberts of "Bonanza," lending their names, their wealth and their labor to the cause of freedom.
"We" is Medgar Evers, Michael Schwerner, Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, Cynthia Wesley, Andrew Goodman, Denise McNair, James Chaney, Addie Mae Collins and Carole Robertson, shot, beaten and blown to death for that cause.
"We" is Lyndon Johnson, building a legislative coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats to defeat intransigent Southern Democratic conservatives and enshrine that cause into law.
And "we" is Martin Luther King, giving voice and moral clarity to the cause — and paying for it with his life.
The we to which Glenn Beck belongs is the we that said no, the we that cried "socialism!" "communism!" "tyranny!" whenever black people and their allies cried, freedom.

I'll boil it down to "screw you, Glenn Beck."   The man is trying to rewrite history to benefit himself.  He should be ashamed, but I don't think he's capable of it.  Up until now I thought Beck was a dangerously egomaniacal demagogue, but now the guy is borderline evil.

He opposes everything Dr. King stood for and died for, most of all social justice.

What kind of man would do something like this to the African-American community and sill be able to sleep at night, untroubled by the ghosts of people who died so he could exploit them?

Jesus really would have wept.

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